Excimer laser angioplasty was performed in 59 patients (44 males and 17 females, mean age 63 +/- 9 years, range 39 - 77) affected by peripheral vascular disease. Fifty patients had a total occlusion of the superficial femoral artery, three of the iliac artery, and one of the popliteal artery; seven patients showed a subocclusive stenosis of the superficial femoral artery. A commercial excimer laser (Technolas Max-10) was used at the Xenon-Chloride wavelength of 308 nm. The laser operated at 120 ns pulse length and at 20 Hz repetition rate. Applied energy fluence was 20 mJ/pulse. The energy was delivered through a multifiber catheter, which combines 12 (7F) or 18 (9F) fibers (260 micron diameter each), concentrically arranged. Balloon dilatation was associated in 51 patients. Successful recanalization was obtained in 59 out of 61 patients (97%). Failure to recanalize the occluded arteries occurred in two cases, and was due to dissection. Early thrombosis and reocclusion (within 48 hours) was observed in five patients. The cumulative patency rate was 56% at one year. On the basis of these results, excimer laser assisted angioplasty seems a feasible and safe procedure. However, this technique did not solve the restenosis problem. A wide application of excimer laser as a stand alone approach can be foreseen for treatment of peripheral vascular disease.